Warren vs Treasury, Cont.

I’m not quite sure what to make of the fact that Elizabeth Warren is shamelessly leaking her latest TARP oversight report all over the media — to the NYT, to the WSJ, even, on-camera, to Good Morning America. Doesn’t she work for the public, and have a perfectly good official website on which to release her findings?

On balance, though, I think this is a good thing. The public doesn’t get its news from cop.senate.gov, it gets it from news organizations, which (sadly) are much more likely to report something if they’re leaked a draft than if they simply download it from an official website. And the fact that Warren is getting out there, plugging her report as hard as she can, stands in admirable and stark contrast to the way in which Treasury released its official reply to her first report late on New Year’s Eve, when no one was around to notice.

Even better, however, would be if Treasury started being receptive enough to Warren’s criticisms that she didn’t feel the need to shout like this. The important thing, ultimately, is to spend the TARP money as effectively as possible — and if David Cho is to be believed, the incoming administration is not far from Warren on the questions of how to do that. Oversight does not mean opposition — and if Treasury can start working constructively with Warren, we might all be spared this kind of public invective in future.

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